About Prairie Wind Alpacas
We purchased our first alpacas in 2004, and now have a herd of about 30 animals. We enjoy
working with the animals and learning about the beautiful products that can be made from
their fibre. We take pleasure in working with, and introducing others to, the luxury
of alpaca fibre products which we sell from our home and at craft sales.
Our two girls have become very involved with the alpacas as well. Our eldest daughter, Jennie (left)
shears the animals every spring while Katie helps with the daily care.
Alpacas are gentle, curious animals that originated in Peru, Chile and Bolivia. They were first
imported to Canada in the 1990s. Since then, the Canadian Alpaca Industry has developed an
international reputation for quality breeding stock.
Alpaca fibre is soft, warm and non-allergenic. The alpacas are sheared once a year, usually in May
or June. There are two breeds of alpacas, the huacaya and the suri. The most common breed raised in Canada is the huacaya.
The main difference between
the two breeds is the length of the fibre that the animal produces. The huacaya produce fibre that is about 6 - 8 inches long, and the suri
produce fiber that grows in long strands. The Canadian Alpaca Fibre Industry is now taking steps
to have commercial production of the fibre.